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Clermont, Florida Legal Blog

Police officer charged with DUI suspended while case is pending

It is the job of police officers to enforce the laws in Florida. This means they are in charge of stopping people, conducting investigations, and then giving the evidence to prosecutors to charge people for the crimes they are suspected of committing. However, police officers are not above the law.

Recently an off-duty police officer found this out when he was arrested for a DUI. The officer was also charged with damage to property. The officer was arrested in the early morning hours on New Year's Day. The reports available at the time did not detail the conduct of the officer which led to the arrest, but the officer was put on paid administrative leave while the criminal case was pending and an internal investigation into the incident was being completed.

Assaults on older people can result in different punishments

Those who strike another individual may be charged with assault and battery. People convicted of this crime can be sentenced to jail time and other serious punishments. This is especially true when older individuals are victimized. As people grow older they can be injured more easily and do not recover as well. This causes them to be viewed as especially vulnerable under the law. For that reason, the punishments for those who are convicted of assaulting people over the age of 65 may be more serious.

Aggravated assaults and batteries on people over the age of 65 shall be penalized by a minimum jail sentence of three years, a fine of $10,000, restitution, and up to 500 hours of community service. Assault and battery on people over 65 has also reclassified. Aggravated batteries are first-degree felonies instead of second-degree. Aggravated assaults are moved to second-degree felonies. Battery has changed from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony, and assault has moved from a second-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree misdemeanor.

Could I lose my medical license after a DUI?

Receiving a DUI charge can drastically affect anyone’s life. You might have to pay a large amount of fines, lose your driving privileges and face potential jail time. Additional penalties could severely impact your career if you happen to be a licensed medical professional.

People charged with burglary could face serious consequences

People in Florida enter into other's property almost every day. This could be when they go to work, the grocery store, or friends and family. For the most part, these individuals are invited onto the property either explicitly or there is an implied invitation such as when people go to stores to go shopping. However, there are many instances when individuals enter the property of another without an invitation. In these circumstances, if the individual who entered the property did so without permission to do so and with the intent to commit a criminal offense, then they could be charged with burglary.

The punishment for those convicted of burglary can be quite severe. If the building in question was occupied at the time and allegations are made that the accused individual assaulted someone inside or damages property, then they could be charged with first-degree burglary. Burglary in the second-degree occurs when an individual enters an occupied building, but does not assault anyone or have dangerous weapons. Third-degree burglary occurs when an individual enters an unoccupied building and commits a crime. The most severe burglaries can result in life in prison, while even those that may seem relatively minor can still result in years behind bars.

People convicted of meth possession face serious consequences

Florida has a number of drug laws on the books. While some of these statutes allow for the legal use of some narcotics, such as prescribed pain medications, most of them prohibit the manufacturing, distribution, possession, and use of illegal drugs.

When individuals are caught breaking these laws they can face serious drug charges. Some of the most severe drug charges are those that involve methamphetamine (meth). Simple possession of the drug is a third degree felony, which could result in a five-year prison sentence upon conviction. If the person is caught with the chemicals needed to manufacture meth and has the intent to do so, then he or she has committed a second-degree felony. This offense could result in a 15-year prison sentence. Those individuals who are convicted of selling meth could face between three and 15 years in prison depending on the amount the person is convicted of selling.

Driver's license suspensions related to DUIs

When people drive in Florida, they agree to follow all the traffic laws. If they do not do so, then they could receive tickets, pay fines, and, for some violations, spend time in jail. One of these laws, of course, disallows individuals from driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If an individual is charged with DUI and are ultimately convicted, then they could face the consequences mentioned above, including mandatory jail time depending on the circumstances and whether they have any prior DUIs.

Those are just some of the penalties associated with a DUI, though. Driving is considered a privilege, and that privilege can be taken away for periods of time for those convicted of DUIs. Similar to the progression seen in criminal penalties, these suspensions are longer the more DUIs a person has on their record.

3 things that can create a false positive for breathalyzers

After a long night out with friends, driving home becomes the next imperative. You wait to sober up before you hit the road, but all the same a cop car flashes its lights and you pull over. Now while you probably didn’t expect this DUI stop, you probably know something about what’s coming next. There will be sobriety tests, notably a breathalyzer. No matter how few drinks one’s had, blowing into the mouthpiece is always a moment of dreaded anticipation.

And that dreaded anticipation makes forming a defense difficult. Many can be in the shock of the unexpected pullover and the “yes sir, no sir” etiquette of speaking with the officer. While technology has improved in breathalyzers over the years, the glowing digital display is not sacrosanct. While it might be difficult to speak up, there are plenty of reasons to challenge the reading on a breathalyzer. Don’t think of it as resistance. Because it’s not.

When self-defense is a valid defense to assault charges

There are, unfortunately, people in Florida who resort to violence to solve their differences. There are others who use violence as a way to rob others or intimidate them for other reasons. Generally, when people do use violence against others, they could be charged with assault and battery. Being charged with assault and battery means that people could be facing serious consequences.

These consequences could include jail time, fines and other punishments, along with lengthy probationary periods. When people are charged, it does not mean that they are automatically guilty. All people have rights after being arrested and one of the most important rights is that people are innocent until proven guilty. There are potential defenses available to people, depending on the circumstances and facts of the case. For assault and battery charges, one defense is that the person was acting in self-defense.

The basic process after a probation violation

Many people in Florida are charged with crimes each year. There are many defenses to these crimes and people are not guilty just because they are charged with a crime. However, many people are convicted of crimes eventually. This could be for a variety of reasons, but sometimes it is better to take a plea deal instead of taking chances at trial. Part of many plea deals usually involves a period of time when people are on probation, among other penalties.

While on probation, people have a set of rules that they must follow. In addition to not committing any new crimes, they may be required to submit to drug tests, have meetings with probation officers, complete community service or other punishments. If people do not complete all their probation requirements or abide by the rules, they could commit a probation violation. If they commit a probation violation, just like when they are charged with a crime, there could be a warrant issued for their arrest.

Certain people charged with drug crimes could avoid convictions

People in Florida start using drugs for a variety of reasons. It could be to deal with pain, as a way to relax or escape a certain situation. However, while people may never expect that they will become addicted, drugs can be highly addictive, and people can be hooked. If that occurs, it can become very difficult to quit and the addiction can lead to many problems in their life including criminal charges for possession of drugs

People who are charged with drug possession could face severe consequences, including fines and jail time, but certain people may be able to avoid a conviction through the drug offender program. This program is for people who are deemed chronic substance abusers who committed certain non-violent felony drug offenses and do not have too many prior offenses. If people qualify, the court can withhold adjudication of guilt and allow the person to avoid a conviction if they complete the drug offender program.

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The Law Offices of Justin Rickman

780 Almond Street
Clermont, FL 34711

Phone: 352-394-2041
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